HOMILY FOR THE VIGIL MASS OF THE HOLY SATURDAY
THEME: WHO MOVED THE STONE?
BY: Fr Livinus Igbodekwe
HOMILY FOR SATURDAY APRIL 17 2022
Every good story has an ending which may be comedy or tragedy. There’s always a rising tension of crisis that gets resolved at the end of the story. When the resolution involves a vindication, we say it has a happy ending. But, if the resolution doesn’t include the vindication or rescue of the protagonist, we say, it has a sad ending. In the greatest story ever told, the Story of Redemption, we have a happy ending. The one who was unfairly judged and condemned, rises as King and Judge. He who was lowered to the tomb, rises victorious over death, and dies no more. The sealed and enclosed stone rolls away to reveal the power at work at His rising. The watching soldiers slumber, while the sleeping Lord awakes. That is the miracle of our redemption.
Peculiar to this event is the fact that Jesus didn’t first start to appear to those who handed him over to death. Someone like Pilate, Herod, the Chief priest, etc., as we would have expected. They could have been to ones to scarily announce that He’s alive. Rather, Jesus sat at the tomb’s garden waiting for some disciples to come to visit. Love is the first way to the revelation of God. Those that cared and loved much are not stopped by death or tomb. Love never dies. Their love goes beyond the grave. The women scored higher in this regard. They were alarmed at the rolled away stone and the open grave. They saw the brilliant angels. At their words, they excitedly ran to inform the Eleven. Jesus’ resurrection affected the three realms – heaven, earth, and hell. Heaven: the angels came down as pure evidence of eternity. A resurrected body will be like those of angels. Earth: there’s renewal of the whole creation. New life sprouted on earth again. Hell: the gates of hades was emptied and the keys taken. The dead in darkness follow their Pioneer (The Firstborn from the dead) and Lord to paradise. His name becomes the only legal authority that guarantees safety, that when mentioned, all in heaven, on earth, and under the earth must bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.
Happy Easter in advance!